for Intern Teaching
a letter to
your students letting them know about you, your interests, and why you
want to be a teacher. Invite them to write back to you.
a letter to the parents of your students introducing yourself and talking
about your commitment to teaching English to their kids. Invite them
to drop in on the class, call you at home, etc.
yourself learn from your mentor, even if their approach is different
from yours. Use the traditional approaches and also develop more innovative
hard at developing your relationship with your mentor(s). Active listening
and careful questioning is essential in the early stages. Try to develop
a personal as well as a professional connection. Tell them (and show
them) that they can trust you. Never put your mentor down in front of
students. If there is a serious problem with your mentor, seek a change
in the very first weeks. If a problem develops or continues involve
outside people soon!
to turn negative comments about students by your mentor or other teachers
into positives by asking about ways that you as a new teacher might
work effectively with this (or similar) students.
principals and vice principals. Be sure that before student teaching
is over they have visited your class and watched you teach. (They are
good sources for feedback and recommendations.)
- It is great to get input from your university supervisor -- I think it best if your university supervisor observes you teach at least twice.
other interns by setting up regular meeting and phone times. Stay active
in on-line discussion groups (such as English Teacher Companion Ning), attend conferences and remain
involved with others going through what you are going through.
tape yourself teaching
several times and analyze the tapes carefully.
Harry Wong's book First
Day of School -- while I don't think he is a great theorist about good teaching, he does have many specific suggestions for how to set a professional tone from the first day helpful to new teachers.
back over materials from your methods and education courses. Be alert to the ways that you become "channeled"
into the pedagogical practice of your mentor and don't give up experimenting
your students a list of outside reading and viewing that you recommend.
(Play it safe.)
student desks frequently and creatively. It will free up your pedagogy,
assert your control over the space of the classroom, link content and
process, and help with discipline.
you have discipline problems with particular students seek them out
outside of classtime for one-on-one conversation. Ask them how you
can help make the class a place that they will enjoy.
you are several weeks into student teaching, graciously but firmly insist
that you need to be developing some of the curriculum, including multicultural
approaches, planning lessons independently, etc. Point out that the
university evaluation your intern teaching requires that you have been
able to show that you can do these things.
photographs of your students and copy samples of their best work for
you to keep. Be sure to have their permission, and perhaps their parents, to do this -- your school or district likely has policies for you to follow in this area, learn about and follow them.
- Allow for the posibility of staying in touch with your students
after you leave the classroom. Have them write an evaluation of you
at least twice during intern teaching. You can learn a great deal from
your students about how to improve.
WMU you are supposed to fill out your midterm and final self-evaluation
of intern teaching before your mentor evaluates you. (You do
not have to allow negative evaluations from your mentor to be put in
your placement file.)
your portfolio and resume early. Let people know you will be looking
for a position. Study my job advice wiki -- and help me improve it!
should not be doing "extra duties" (especially during your
preparation hour); seek help from your supervisor.
all professional events such
as faculty meetings, committee meetings, teacher parties, etc. Attend
professional conferences while you are intern teaching.
enthusiastic about interning and teaching -- you are making a professional
impression from the first day.
up for WMU teacher education program. Talking up
your program's strengths will make you look good and your degree more valuable.
Let mentors know about what is being learned and discussed at the university
these days. If mentors challenge your preparation, point to the things
you have learned, invite them to read some of the professional books
you have read (and join you at a professional conference!), explain
your philosophy of teaching as well as you can, and express your willingness
to keep learning.
your own personal balance. Exercise. Make time for yourself. Find good
listeners and process your experiences with them.